Illness Prevention Protocols
March 19, 2020
In response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, Welcome Inn Community Centre is both monitoring the updates provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and, once again, stepping up our preventative measures. While we fully recognize the risks associated with the virus, Welcome Inn would also like to remind all community members that, with policies regarding travel and preventative measures in place, the risk continues to be manageable. It is important for us all to be diligent and safe.
• New hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed throughout both buildings.
• New signage has been posted in both buildings, encouraging regular hand washing and including a reminder to stay at home, if presenting with any symptoms.
• Daily disinfecting of high-touch areas and common spaces has been instituted.
• Program-specific closures are now in effect:
o Following the lead of the publicly funded schools in Ontario and Student Open Circles at McMaster University, the LAF program is suspended for the remainder of the academic year;
o Following the PHAC recommendations regarding social distancing for those who are at medium to high risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19, the Seniors Diners Club has been suspended until further notice;
o The Seniors Visitation program will continue to operate (see below), but all face-to-face visits have been suspended;
o All community programs, including our tax clinic, have been suspended until further notice.
o New Horizons Thrift store has been closed and will remain closed until at least April 6, 2020. The store will also not be accepting any donations.
• New guidelines for on-going programs have been established:
o The Seniors Visitation program will continue in a modified manner with all face-to-face visits being suspended until further notice. Telephone and email visits will continue and will replace all other visits.
o The food bank will remain open, and the decision to close will be made in conjunction with the other service providers that make up the Emergency Food System. All food, however, will now be provided as pre-packaged hampers to reduce the risk of transmission, effective Monday, March 16, 2020.
• General organizational guidelines have also been established.
o All staff, Board of Directors, volunteers and community members will be encouraged to refrain from shaking hands and/or direct physical contact.
• The upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Event has now been postponed until the fall.
• The upcoming fundraising event—The Art of Caring—has not yet been cancelled, but the decision to be cancel is being considered.
Policies Regarding Travel Outside Canada (to be shared with all staff, Board of Directors & volunteers)
1) If you have travelled on any cruise ship, it is important that you self-isolate and not return to work or your volunteer position. Those that have travelled on any cruise ships are asked to not enter either of the two locations associated with Welcome Inn Community Centre for 14 days after arrival in Canada. In addition, it is important that you contact the local public health authority.
2) If you have travelled outside Canada, regardless of the destination, it is important that you self-isolate and not return to work or your volunteer position. Those that have travelled outside Canada are asked to not enter either of the two locations associated with Welcome Inn Community Centre for 14 days after arrival in Canada. In addition, it is important that you contact the local public health authority.
Policies Regarding Illness (to be shared with all staff, Board of Directors & volunteers)
• All staff, Board of Directors and volunteers are encouraged to monitor their own health and learn to self-identify the symptoms of COVID-19.
• Without exception, staff, Board of Directors and volunteers are required to stay at home when sick and are not to report to work, regardless of any recent travel or likeliness of being exposed to COVID-19.